NEW DELHI: The Rajya Sabha was adjourned early again on Thursday as neither an aggressive opposition nor the government has budged an inch in the standoff over the notes ban, which is one month old today. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the notes ban on November 8 and the opposition has attacked the government since alleging that poor implementation led to the severe cash crunch which has caused immense hardship to people, especially the poor. The government has called the opposition’s protests a “self-goal”.
Here are the 10 latest developments in this story:
- Opposition lawmakers are wearing black bands of protest today to mark one month of the government’s ban on 500 and 1000 rupee notes, aimed at unearthing black or undeclared money.
- Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi launched a scathing attack on PM Modi today saying, “Bold decisions can also be a foolish decision taken without any due consideration. It has devastated the poor, farmers, daily wage workers.”
- He alleged that the government’s stress on transitioning to a cashless economy is designed to benefit a handful of people. “Farmers are dying and the PM seems to be having fun. PM should come to parliament to debate on demonetisation, we will not let him run away,” he said.
- Ahead of the Houses convening on Thursday, opposition leaders from various parties protested at the Gandhi statue in the parliament premises, holding up posters of old notes with garlands around them.
- The government has called the protest an insult to Mahatma Gandhi. “Today is a black money supporting day for those protesting…November 8 is a red letter day, historic day,” said senior union minister Venkaiah Naidu.
- “The Prime Minister’s focus is the on the poor. The Congress and its partners have attacked the rights of the poor,” said union minister Muqtar Abbas Naqvi.
- The opposition continues to demand that demonetisation be discussed in Parliament with a vote at the end and that PM Modi be present and explain the notes ban.The government has offered debate, but says there will be no vote.
- Virtually no work has been transacted in the winter session of parliament, which began on November 16, and ends on December 16.
- Veteran BJP leader LK Advani yesterday asked Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar, “Who’s running the house? It is running on its own…Neither the Speaker (Sumitra Mahajan) nor the Parliamentary Affairs Minister is running the House.”
- The Lok Sabha is functioning for now amid a lot of shouting by opposition lawmakers, earning them a warning from Ms Mahajan. “I am warning you. You are blocking those who sit behind. They are as much representatives of the people as you are,” she said.